Sean reels in success at SALC Home Nations
Young Wexford fisherman Sean Carley reeled in some victory with his father Joe when they landed second place in the SALC Home Nations Shore Angling Competition in Norfolk.
The 18-year-old, who is an active member of the Menapia Sea Angling Club in Wexford, was one of a team of six Irish fishermen and two managers to head overseas to represent Ireland in recent weeks. Among them was his father, who also serves as the team's assistant manager and Sean's inspiration for diving into fishing in the very beginning.
The competition saw a team from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales take part in two five-hour competitions: beach and river. The aim of both the beach and the river contests was to accumulate the most number of points through catching the largest number and highest number of fish. While the fish found during the beach section were predominantly dabs, the river section saw competitors reeling in eels and flounder.
Sean and co were thrilled to take home the silver medals, particularly considering they were up against some very seasoned fishermen.
'Going in, we didn't think we had much of a chance as we had some new under 21s this year and the other teams had more experienced competitors,' explained Sean, who is from Whiterock Heights. 'It was hard work and we needed plenty of motivation throughout it but overall, it was very enjoyable.'
It was Sean's father Joe, an experienced fisherman, who encouraged him to cast his first line. From then on, he was well and truly hooked and has travelled nationally and abroad to fish. However, according to Sean, he only took up competing this time last year.
Sean's hobby sets him apart from many other young people in Wexford, who he feels are more interested in mainstream sports than they are in fishing.
'There aren't as many young people taking an interest in it as other sports such as soccer usually take over,' he said. 'I always grew up beside dad fishing and that's what got me into it.'
Now back on his home turf with a new silver medal to his name, Sean is now looking forward to taking part in the local club competitions in the coming weeks and the Leinster League in Wales later this year.